Yes, we'll be there in full effect. And we hope as many bloggers and other internet inhabitants as possible will join us via the exciting live chat page which has whizzy maps and flags, and translation facilities for those commenting in a range of languages other than English.
What party am I strewing out virtual invites for? it's the second ever We Media Global Forum organised by The Media Center of the American Press Institute, it takes place this week in London on Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 May, and it
…brings together the trailblazers of the connected society – the thinkers, innovators, investors, executives and activists seeking to tap the potential of digital networks connecting people everywhere…
They come together to learn from each other and to think about, explore, be inspired by and build upon the shared knowledge and the collective intelligence of the connected society. Their collective efforts spawn new ideas, information, services and businesses.
Some of the conversations have already started. Our own Salam Adil has posted on his blog a cogent critique of the “branding” image used by We Media for the conference (which you will, at the time of writing, be able to see on our sidebar), that of a veiled woman holding up an ink-stained finger indicative of having voted in the elections in Iraq. His post has in turn been blogged at the official Media Centre blog Morph.
Blogging the forum is one of the requirements of those who have been awarded fellowships to attend, including several regular contributors to Global Voices, so you should be seeing a lot more posting over the next few days. Added to which Rebecca and I are moderating panels on day two of the programme.
The theme of the forum is “trust”. The main sponsors of the event, the BBC (their blog coverage) and Reuters (their online coverage), have been running an online survey to guage “people's attitudes to the media and trust”. The survey results won't be announced officially until the first day of the Forum, but an interesting breakdown of the results so far is currently available online. Such sampling of opinion is of course unscientific, particularly when you realise that there are only eight questions each with only five answer options.
Also unscientific is my analysis of the survey itself, but I find it interesting that more than a third of the questions are in some way about blogging. And here are the results (so far), broken down by language of the respondent, to the question “There is a lot of interest in blogging. What do you use it for?” Perhaps from this we may guess at a possible “meta” question lying behind it, from the mainstream media to media consumers: “There is a lot of interest in blogging. What can we use it for?”.
Come along and help find answers to these and many other inquiries, or reframe the debate by asking different questions!